South Korea – 7 Dead After Typhoon Chaba Dumps 280mm of Rain

Typhoon Chaba left a trail of destruction in South Korea on Wednesday, 05 October, after dumping over 280 mm (11 inches) of rain in some areas. Chaba is thought to be the strongest typhoon to hit South Korea since Maemi in 2003.

South Korea’s Ministry of Public Safety and Security said that seven people have been killed and four are missing.

The southern cities of Ulsan, Busan and South Gyeongsang province (Yeongnam region), as well as South Jeolla (Honam region), Jeju (Jeju Region) were the worst affected.

Three people died in the city of Busan, three the Ulsan and one victim in Gyeongju. One of the victims is thought to be an emergency worker who was helping with rescue efforts in Ulsan. Most of the victims are believed to have died as a result of flooding.

Over 300 hundred homes have been damaged by flooding, with around 14 of them severely damaged or completely destroyed. Shops, businesses and vehicles have also suffered damaged. Power outages were reported across affected areas. Schools and transport, including flights, have been disrupted. The heavy rain has also caused dozens of landslides and major damage to banks along swollen rivers. Huge waves and storm surge has also caused damage along the coastline, including sea walls.

Footage shows vehicles swept away by muddy water racing through city streets. At one point a building was swept away by a swollen river.

Japan

Tropical Cyclone Chaba continued moving north-east over the Sea of Japan weakening and dissipating slightly. Red level storm warnings have been issued by Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) for storms in Hokkaido island, the northernmost of Japan’s main islands.

Rainfall

Rainfall totals according to WMO for a 24 hour period between 04 to 05 October, 2016

South Korea

  • Jeju – 174 mm
  • Seogwipo – 286 mm
  • Seongsan – 141.1 mm
  • Mokpo – 53.6 mm
  • Yeosu – 102 mm
  • Gwangju – 71 mm
  • Jindo radar – 55.1 mm
  • Wando – 90.2 mm
  • Ulsan – 205 mm
  • Masan – 84 mm
  • Daegu – 50 mm
  • Tongyeong – 124 mm
  • Jinju – 84 mm
  • Busan – 95 mm
  • Ulleungdo – 97 mm
  • Pohang – 114 mm

Japan

  • Oita – 64 mm

North Korea

North Korea appears to have been spared any impact from Typhoon Chaba so far. The country is still struggling to deal with the impact of Typhoon Lionrock in September this year.  At this point, any further rainfall could set back recovery efforts and bring more misery on an already suffering population. As many as 133 people were killed and 107,000 people displaced.

According to the UN, the hundreds of thousands of people who lost their homes, food stocks and personal belongings are still in need of immediate life-saving assistance.

In a statement yesterday, United Nations Resident Coordinator in North Korea, Mr. Tapan Mishra, said:

“The floods had a devastating impact on entire communities. Assessments have shown that in some places whole stretches of villages and towns were swept away by flash floods and in others buildings are still submerged in mud up to their roofs. At the same time, destruction to water and sanitation systems present a real public health risk, a situation that will only get worse by the day, unless addressed urgently.”

The Humanitarian Country Team in North Korea is requesting $29 million to address the needs caused by the floods. In addition, North Korea faces chronic humanitarian needs which are critically underfunded, with only 24 per cent of funding requested for 2016 received so far. The UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) allocated $8 million earlier this year to support for severely underfunded operations in North Korea.